It’s time to rock your job search. If you have big plans to advance your career in 2017, preparation is critical. Here are six job search essentials.
Professional email. Let’s start with the easiest. If you don’t have a professional and updated email account, like firstname.lastname@example.org, get your life together. Some hiring managers base their first round of cuts solely on contact information. Unprofessional contact information severely impacts your chances of being hired. Take time to create a new email account. You will use this on your resume and to correspond with potential employers.
Updated resume. People are often overwhelmed by the prospect of updating their resume, but this is essential to your success. Set aside one day to knock it out. A quality document makes a positive first impression. If you are in college, or already have a degree - remove anything related to your high school. I’m sure you had a great time as a Fighting Bobcat, but this does not benefit you as a full-time professional.
LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn describes the platform as “your resume that never sleeps”. This is undoubtedly true. According to USNews.com, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to research candidates. Ninety-four percent! If you have a solid profile online, you automatically increase your chances of being hired. Take advantage of this free opportunity.
Quality headshot. LinkedIn’s research shows that profiles with headshots are viewed at least 5 times more often than those without photos. A quality headshot means no cropped heads, no pets (unless you’re a zookeeper), and no spouses. Ew. Stop. Unless you’re a professional duo, there is no need to have your partner in your Linkedin profile photo.
Informed network. If you can share that you’re job searching (which isn’t everyone!), use your network. Let them know that you’re in the job search. Tell them what you are looking for including the type of position, work environment, and location. According to a survey conducted by The Adler Group, 85% of critical positions are filled via networking. Get after it.
Supportive mentor(s). If you don’t have a mentor in your corner, it’s time to find one! If you do, grab coffee and chat about your professional development. Depending on your mentor(s), they may review your resume, provide feedback, connect you to their network, or simply be there to discuss your job search experience. The job search is a wild roller coaster. It’s great to have someone along for the ride.
Do these six things and you will be well prepared for your search. Consider it a present to yourself. You’re going to dominate 2017.